Letter from Billy Thomas
Mrs. Thomas has received a letter from Billy, who has now landed on English soil. The fifty men picked from the 37th of the 3rd contingent, as reinforcements for the 1st contingent, lost no time in getting on the way and went almost direct from here to the Old Country.
DEAR FOLK: --
Will write a few lines now. We have been on the water nine days. Expect to be in Portsmouth some time this evening. I made the trip O.K., wasn't sea sick at all. We have lots of good grub, the very best. The going has been good on the whole, only at times a little rough. We have been in the war zone for some hours and last night we all slept with our clothes on and a life belt by our side. The boys from the north are all feeling fine. You can't beat them anywhere. I don't want you to worry for I am coming back and it won't be very long at that . . . . . .
Well dear ones, we are here at last. Arrived last night, June 20th, everybody well. We are only twelve hours travel from the trenches so we are pretty close. I saw a couple of our big birds sailing around this morning. There are some of the boys from the North here, wounded, and I shall try to see them.
The Captain of our ship, so we are told, received message saying that a German submarine was watching for us but he fooled them. We went south of England and then came back again and landed at Devenport. We landed Saturday night and boarded the train Sunday morning about ten o'clock and arrived here about 12 at night.
Friday morning there was a German sub sunk just out from Plymouth. They were looking for some victim, no doubt us, for we had to pass through Plymouth Harbor to get to our port.
We are reinforcing the 1st Con. so we will have to wear the Kilts. I said I wouldn't do it before I left, but I have changed my mind, but won't I look nice in a skirt? I have to laugh when I think of it. We sure will have a time for a while getting used to them. They will be nice and cool on the legs at any rate.
I can hardly realize I am here, for it is such a short time sine I joined, but I am here, and will do my little for King and Canada and loved ones dear.
As soon as I get my Kilts, I will have my picture taken but I will look like a girl. . . . . ."